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in the middle east. elections are coming up. israel, jordan, egypt, iran, and elsewhere, we're seeing in front of our eyes more violent change happening in syria. the reverberations felt in every one of those country's borders. elsewhere from beirut to bahrain, it's a low boil, ready to burst out in a way that would affect our interests in very fundamental ways. there's two problems at the far end of the threat spectrum. the iran nuclear challenge on one hand and spread of al-qaeda and spread of terrorism on the other that will continue to dominate unless we forget within a year of taking office, both presidents obama and bush, his predecessor, were faced with previously unforeseen events that fundamentally challengedded their middle east policies. 9/11 for president bush, and the arab spring for president obama. there's a lot on the agenda. today, we're going to take an early look at what will be and what should be the foreign policy of a second obama administration in the middle east. now, we, at the washington institute, for us, this is just the beginning of a -- of quite a number of events
and israel. former obama administration released adviser dennis ross is interviewed by former state department spokesman. the talk of sanctions and the administration's approach to that country's nuclear program. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. dennis and i have done this a lot of the years, never before an audience. [laughter] when you are the president's foreign-policy spokesman and handing out in the roosevelt room as you have the israeli prime minister and then chairman arafat and the president trying to reach middle east piece you go and say, okay. but we tell the press. look, you can tell them what everyone except for this, this, and this. what else is there? but now we have the dennis two is out of the government. and writing a new book. so if you think about the next four years, clearly how the united states relationship evolves with ron, then the clear issue can be resolved short of conflict will be among those, if not the most pivotal issue facing the president in his second term. so start off, in 2009 when you were at the state department's as
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